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Dauphiné Libéré
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Tales from the Peloton

Off the back

Notes from Sunday's ride

By Greg Taylor

BERLIN, DELAWARE -- Doctors at Atlantic General Hospital announced today that a cyclist was the recipient of the world's first mechanical a$$ transplant. The patient, an unidentified 40 year old male, was injured on Saturday near Assateague Island while participating in the Seagull Century, a cycling event promoted by Salisbury State University. (For a recap of last year's event, click here) The victim was rushed by ambulance to Atlantic General where a team of crack surgeons, lead by Dr. Renaud Callipygian, performed the emergency transplant surgery. At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Callipygian outlined the dramatic events that lead up to this latest medical breakthrough: "The patient, a 40 year old male, arrived by ambulance in stable condition. He had fallen from his bicycle while traveling at a high rate of speed, suffering massive road rash over approximately 95% of his hindquarters. After assessing the patient's condition, our surgical team concluded that, basically, his a$$ was toast and the whole thing would have to come off." Dr. Callipygian and his staff performed a radical rumpectomy, replacing the patient's gouged gluteus with the mechanical unit.

The Callipygian Mechanical A$$ ("CMA"), developed at Atlantic General, is an computer actuated electro-mechanical device designed to provide trauma patients with an advanced alternative to traditional butt-replacement medical technologies. "Right now, CMA technology is in its infancy," Dr. Callipygian explained. "The device that was installed in the patient on Saturday is a beta-testing unit . It's a uni-sex version of the CMA that, frankly, wasn't a perfect match to the patient. However, we still consider it a considerable upgrade over what he had, if you catch my meaning." The CMA unit transplanted onto the unidentified cyclist was described by a hospital spokesperson as "small, hairless, and rather shapely - something that would look really good in a pair of tight blue jeans." No pictures of the CMA have been released.

Dr. Callipygian indicated that the patient, identified only as a member of the Team Lardbutt cycling team, was resting comfortably. "He should be able to resume his normal activities fairly soon. The only limitation that we can see right now is that he will have to use light machine oil on his buttocks should he decide to go swimming."

2002 Seagull Century

Oi, Team Lardbutt had a time of it at the 2002 edition of the Seagull Century. The weather was mostly miserable and, as you may have heard, Chris Kinsey took a spill at a high rate of knots about 5 miles from the aptly-named Assateague Island. The good news is that Chris appears to be okay -- he got an ambulance ride to Atlantic General hospital in Berlin. It was pretty scary though: Mr. Kinsey left huge chunks of his helmet on the pavement.

Oh, and it rained. A lot. The first 60 or so miles were ridden in weather that alternated between drizzle and something-more-than-drizzle. Everyone was soaked, and I would have committed any number of unnatural acts for a pair of dry socks. Oddly enough, the sun came out after Chris crashed, meaning that he missed the best 46 miles of the ride.

There were a few highlights to talk about. First was the hurt that we put on a bunch of Cat 5-esque guys from the Bike Doctor squad in the first half of the ride. They sat in with us up to the second rest stop, and took the time to hurl a few sincere compliments our way. Then there was the Bianchi Guy - what a monster. We hooked up with him after the second rest stop, and he proceeded to take a series of absolutely ripper pulls up front. We were hanging on by the skin of our teeth most of the way....

Turning to the Lardbutts, Bill Cusmano was probably the strongest of the pack. I say "probably" because Chris was primed and was looking very strong before he did the butt toboggan across the pavement. Dr. Dave also gets special mention because:

  1. pull for pull, he was as strong as Chris and Bill,
  2. it was nice to have a doctor when Chris hit the ground, and
  3. Dr. Dave did 5 miles of the Seagull on two bikes - his and Chris's.

Doc wheeled Chris's rig to the Assateague rest stop when it was clear that the SAG support wasn't showing up any time soon. He gets double credits for those miles. On the swing back to Salisbury we detoured to the hospital to visit Chris in the Emergency Room.

With all of the excitement, we didn't return to Salisbury until about 4:00 or so. A couple of beers, some food, and dry socks, and you stop swearing that this year is going to be the LAST Seagull that you ever do.

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